LCCP's Dillon Simon runs for a long touchdown against Barbe during the SPOT Jamboree at Sulphur High School in Sulphur, Louisiana on Thursday, August 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

Games and practices have been shut down, but recruiting work continues for colleges and high school prospects.

Area athletes said calls from college coaches have become more frequent in the two weeks since college play was shut down and area schools were closed.

Lake Charles College Prep junior quarterback Dillon Simon said he picked up an offer from Prairie View A&M Sunday evening, capping off a busy couple of weeks. Since this is a "dead period" on the NCAA recruiting calendar, college coaches are barred from hosting recruits on visits or visiting them in person, but can make contact via phone call or text.

"I have been in contact with lots of coaches — Army, Navy, Houston, UL-Lafayette, South Alabama, Grambling, Coastal Carolina Prairie View," Simon said. "I have offers from Grambling, South Alabama and Prairie View."

Simon said the process is fun.

"It's what I have been working for since my freshman year and to see it finally happen is making me work harder and harder," he said. "I have been looking at what the colleges have to offer on a sports level and academic level to see how it suits me.

"On the football side, I look for the way their offense is run, how it best suits me, if the team feels like a family and if the coaches are like my coaches I have now at LCCP. The school itself, I look for the school's engineering department and what it has to offer that the other colleges don't have and whether it will benefit me in the long run."

Recruiting is a frequent topic among Simon and his LCCP teammates. Six offensive players hold offers.

"We all talk about the schools that we would like to go but we all really just like the schools that build a good connection with us," Simon said.

One of Simon's favorite targets, junior receiver Glynn Johnson, said he has offers from South Alabama, Grambling State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State and Southern University. Interest in Johnson has spiked since the end of the season, with all of his offers arriving in the new year. He's been using the additional free time to explore interested schools.

"I have been getting a few more calls," he said of the weeks since school closed. "I have more time now and I have been looking at schools harder. I look for their previous record, what kind of offense they run, the majors they have at that university. I want to study physical therapy. I enjoy it, but it is getting harder to make a decision as more schools come in."

Iowa defensive back Cejae Ceasar has plenty to think about, holding offers from Kansas State, ULL, Southeastern Louisiana, South Alabama, Nicholls, Arkansas State, Houston Baptist, Northwestern State and the Air Force Academy.

"I am getting about 3-5 more calls per day," Ceasar said. "It isn't a hassle. I love the recruiting process, the conversations with the coaches and building relationships with them."

College coaches have been getting creative during the past few weeks, using TikTok videos and video game tournaments to attract attention. Ceasar said he hasn't gotten too many unusual requests yet.

"A Kansas State coach challenged me to a game of ‘Madden,'" he said. "We haven't played yet."

Ceasar has also gotten a surge in attention this spring.

"I went to an all-American combine and played in a 7-on-7 tournament," he said. "I loved the competition at the combine. People who didn't believe my size were able to see me in person. I was one of the biggest defensive backs there. Since then I have just been working out on my own, perfecting things about my game."

Johnson said the added attention isn't going to make him hurry the process.

"Once we're done with regular season I will cut it down to a top three and maybe I'll come with a decision before signing day," he said. "I want to keep my options open until close to signing day."

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